The Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama says any government official who made any monetary gain from the Agyapa Royalties deal should be getting ready to refund it.
Mahama says he will retrieve those monies if elected president in the 2020 polls.
According to him, the NDC government will be compelled to implement recommendations made by the Office of the Special Prosecutor on the deal if those who benefited fail to return the monies back to the state.
He explained that the Ghana Gold Company that his previous administration wanted to use to monetize the country’s gold royalties was 100 percent owned by Ghanaians.
He argued that the Agyapa deal was shrouded in secrecy to short-change Ghanaians.
He made this known at the Bosomkyekye community within the Mampong constituency of the Ashanti Region on Saturday, November 21, 2020.
“The difference is that, the proposed Ghana Gold Company was going to be 100 percent owned by the government and the people of Ghana and not the Agyapa one. With the Agyapa deal, Ghana owns only 51 percent and 49 percent held by other people we don’t know. Ghana Gold Company was being registered here in Ghana but Agyapa was registered in an offshore tax haven so that the identities of the shareholders will be hidden. Civil society organizations and right-thinking Ghanaians have all expressed misgivings with this Agyapa deal. And I have said and my advice to president Akufo-Addo is that, they should desist immediately from signing that deal because as we have said clearly, we are going to oppose it, and we will do everything legitimate to frustrate that agreement in the interest of Ghanaians.”
“If I become president and by the will of God, I will become president, I will not respect that agreement. They should bring that agreement back and hold a meeting with civil society organizations, the chiefs, and all the stakeholders to whom that gold royalties belong and let us achieve consensus on how we want to monetize our gold royalties and every penny that has gone underhand will be retrieved. I assure you. So they (government officials) should return those monies.”
About the deal
In 2018, Parliament passed the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act 2018 which establishes the Fund to manage the equity interests of Ghana in mining companies and receive royalties on behalf of the government.
The purpose of the fund is to manage and invest these royalties and revenue from equities for higher returns for the benefit of the country.
The government then, through the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF), set up Agyapa Royalties Limited to monetize Ghana’s gold royalties.
This was after Parliament on August 14, 2020, approved the Agyapa Mineral Royalty Limited agreement with the Government of Ghana despite the walkout by the Minority.
The company was scheduled to raise between $500 million and $750 million for the government on the Ghana and London Stock exchanges to invest in developmental projects.
However, the deal has been put on hold after the former Special Prosecutor’s (Martin Amidu) corruption assessment.
In his corruption risk assessment of the much-talked-about transaction, the Special Prosecutor argued that consultations over the agreement were not comprehensive and innovative enough.
He also disclosed that the selection and appointment of advisors for the agreement did not meet the “fundamentals of probity, transparency, and accountability.”